Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

The blurring of the boundary between the real and the virtual, right in Shibuya

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

If you are familiar with Japanese anime or film and television dramas, you will not be unfamiliar with this bustling intersection in the picture:

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

That’s right, the busiest intersection in the world is located in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan.

At the intersection of the Metaverse world, there is also a 1:1 re-engraved version – since it was launched for more than two years, the virtual Shibuya has become a virtual space that brings together many gameplay and crowds.

Of course the most important thing here is the happy memories of people.

01 Virtual Shibuya, amazing

Virtual Shibuya officially opened on May 19, 2020 as the city’s digital twin officially recognized by Shibuya Ward in Tokyo .

The entire Shibuya – including streets, high-rise buildings, drugstores, etc., has been re-engraved into this virtual city.

In addition to the 1:1 restoration of the Shibuya landscape, various activities such as Livehouse and Halloween can also be held here, and participants can walk on the streets with their own virtual avatars.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

In addition, people on the streets of Virtual Shibuya can also see the posters and promotions of “Ghost in the Shell”, which is also one of the future 5G entertainment projects in Virtual Shibuya.

As the opening day of the virtual Shibuya, there was also a Ghost in the Shell fan event in front of Shibuya’s famous intersection.

This event, planned by Geometry Ogilvy Japan, brings the characters and plots from Ghost in the Shell to life.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

Many players turned into virtual avatars and stood under the stage to watch the opening ceremony, cheering from time to time and interacting with others.

The nightlife here is just as plentiful: besides wandering the streets of Shibuya when night falls, it’s a good idea to go to the Netflix cinema down the street to watch four original anime, or watch a virtual live broadcast of 100 musicians on the stage at the crossroads choose.

In addition, the Halloween celebration in the virtual Shibuya is also an event not to be missed:

Since 2020, Virtual Shibuya has held a celebration every year during Halloween, and the first Halloween event attracted about 40,000 people from all over the world.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

During Halloween, participants can not only play puzzle games, enter a virtual costume contest, buy limited-edition merchandise, but also enjoy performances by comedians and famous DJs from around the world.

In the Halloween celebration in 2021, there are still various virtual activities developed by animation teams, artists, companies, etc., and all activities are open to users for free.

Although it is a digitally managed virtual city, the developer has set up its own mayor HACHIKO for the virtual Shibuya – yes, the inspiration comes from the statue of the loyal dog Hachiko on the streets of Shibuya.

The dubbing of HACHIKO is the well-known voice actor Kaji Yuki, who has dubbed characters such as “Attack on Titan” Allen and “Ghost Slayer” Kuu Rabbit.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

Access to Virtual Shibuya is also very simple. Users can participate in Virtual Shibuya through VR devices, smartphones and PC/Mac. After that, create a free Cluster account, install the app for the device, and follow the on-screen instructions to enter Can.

At the same time, users can also use the officially recommended AVATARIUM app to turn their full-body photos into avatars to use as their own image in the virtual Shibuya.

02 The future world, the combination of virtual and real

The virtual city project, a collaboration between Japanese telecommunications company KDDI and Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, was originally aimed at creating a digital twin city and proving the power of 5G.

And now, two years later, Virtual Shibuya has developed into a full-scale virtual world experiment.

KDDI and Shibuya Future Design have teamed up with Ogilvy & Mather Japan to set out to lead innovation through the Shibuya 5G Entertainment Project, a collaboration involving technology, IP, banks and other companies with the goal of further digitizing Shibuya through 5G technology.

Yasushi Arikawa, Senior Creative Director and Head of Experience Creative at Ogilvy & Mather Japan, explained that the initial version of the project was already underway before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, but with the lockdown of cities, the demand for virtual spaces has increased significantly, which also Speed ​​up the research and development progress of the virtual city.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

For those unable to leave the house, the virtual Shibuya, easily accessible via a smartphone, was immediately embraced as a new entertainment experience, with the highly successful launch attracting more than 53,000 visitors.

Arikawa is very happy to say:

In October 2020, following the second and third waves of Covid, we hosted a virtual Shibuya Halloween in a safe and secure virtual space.

While Shibuya’s Halloween event normally attracts more than 1 million visitors a year, even moving online, the event managed to attract more than 410,000 visitors.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

Over the past two years, the project has evolved from a campaign to promote 5G to a future city model that blends real locations with virtual worlds, says Gareth Ellen, chief strategy officer at Ogilvy & Mather Japan:

KDDI and FDS refer to this concept as the Connected City, an environment where the imagination is not limited by the physical constraints of streets and buildings. They are excited to further explore the possibilities of hybrid urban and Metaverse life as pandemic restrictions ease.

At the same time, the feedback from participating consumers has been very encouraging. People in Tokyo and beyond expressed a sense of unity and sharing, even as they were scattered across the country.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

As for what they’ve learned from their early forays into the virtual world, Ellen sees the connection to the physical city as an attraction, and they’re just beginning to understand the creative possibilities for brands working with spaces.

Stakeholders such as businesses and individuals in Shibuya worked closely together and participated in the construction of a virtual Shibuya similar to an actual city. With each event, a better understanding of what the Metaverse can offer for the augmentation and expansion of the physical world.

But the team isn’t resting on the laurels of existing achievements, and Arikawa muses about what’s next for virtual Shibuya:

The commercial experience of NFTs and payment systems working together in a virtual world has the potential to create the next era of commerce for us. Digital products such as avatar props and clothing will be bought and sold, creating a shopping mall-like space where various brands gather.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

Ellen also added:

Opportunities for cross-border commerce will exist, where products can be viewed, experienced and purchased in the Metaverse, and then realized in the physical world. We started to achieve this crossover by supporting the sale of limited edition or Metaverse exclusive products.

A key note, however, is to avoid trying to mimic the physical world or simply bring an already highly tuned traditional e-commerce experience into these spaces. Some form of added value must be provided to consumers.

For example, one dimension could be community. In a Metaverse environment, we can observe the activities and interests of others, which can be informative and enlightening.

For the Metaverse to be a space for businesses to thrive, standards and regulations need to be developed around virtual worlds and the required hardware.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

The future layout of technology may be a difficult read, but the Metaverse has never been a cold world.

Let’s go back to the day when the virtual Shibuya opened at the beginning of the article – the joy of participating in the long-lost street activities under the control of the epidemic is an important reason why people fall in love with the virtual Shibuya.

This kind of happiness and satisfaction brought by the Metaverse is undoubtedly the soul and key to the development of virtual Shibuya. Entertainer Chikatsu Wakatsuki, who came to virtual Shibuya on the opening day, said:

Shibuya with a lot of ideas was actually reproduced, and I was very moved! Since I can’t go to Shibuya right now, it feels like I’m back on a platform that I haven’t seen for a long time.

The first time I met someone with an avatar, I found it difficult at first, but I didn’t expect to be nervous.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

DJ LOVE couldn’t help but look happy when he saw the long-lost Shibuya scenery, and said happily:

I really liked the feeling of diving in the world of “Ghost in the Shell”, I was very happy, and it was a great event to expand my dream.

I look forward to further evolution in the future, and I hope to hold a music concert one day. There, I wanted to make something that can be enjoyed by people who have not been physically able to go to the venue so far. I thought it would be interesting .

Yes, although the Metaverse is virtual, it can also carry people’s real dreams.

The virtual Shibuya, which was born two years ago, is actually just a space that has just started. In the further future, the real virtual world will definitely cover a wider and wider range.

Virtual Shibuya has been online for two years, and the Metaverse is just playing like this

📸️ © Google

This range may be the whole of Tokyo or the whole of East Asia, but Xiaolan hopes that it will eventually become the whole world.

When more and more virtual spaces begin to carry our memories and emotions, the boundary between reality and virtuality may become blurred.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/virtual-shibuya-has-been-online-for-two-years-and-the-metaverse-is-just-playing-like-this/
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